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How to spend a few days in mid June near Oakland

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Mar 22nd, 2017, 10:58 AM
  #1
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How to spend a few days in mid June near Oakland

Hi all, hope somebody can give me some input. We are planning a trip to Oakland/Yosemite/Sequoia in mid June. We'll be flying into San Jose late Wednesday and probably just plan to spend the night near the airport. We'll then have 2 days to find something interesting to do until we head to Oakland for Friday night where we'll spend the weekend with relatives before we drive out on Monday to see Yosemite and Sequoia.

We've already done San Francisco pretty extensively and think we would just avoid the traffic and hassle of going into the city at all. Our initial thoughts were to spend time at either Point Reyes or Muir Woods (or both) spending Thursday night somewhere in that area. We're relatively active, fit 60 year olds who do enjoy moderate hikes, but don't drink at all so would only be interested in wine country from a scenery perspective.

Any suggestions for how to spend those days and/or where to stay?
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Mar 22nd, 2017, 11:07 AM
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Since you are flying into San Jose -- I wouldn't go north . . .

You can visit larger, less crowded redwood parks at Big Basin and Henry Cowell. Then depending on what you've seen before -- Half Moon Bay, Santa Cruz, and/or Monterey Carmel.
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Mar 22nd, 2017, 11:17 AM
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Janis gives a good plan. The coastal Redwoods are a different species than the giant sequoias you will see in the Sierra Nevada.
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Mar 22nd, 2017, 12:05 PM
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You're planning on seeing both parks on Monday? I could easily spend 2 days in Yosemite.
Go to Big Basin to see the Coast Redwoods.
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Mar 22nd, 2017, 12:36 PM
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There's a quilt and textile museum and an art museum in San Jose, and lots of good places to eat. And whatever might be going on in the MACLA space.
Santa Cruz is a cute little town. You can see sea otters frolicking with the surfers, and sometimes seals (sea lions?) from the waterside deck of a restaurant. And the iconic carnival rides right next to the beach.

Other than that, I agree with seeing the redwoods near there.

If you're up for any shopping, there are some areas in/around Oakland/Berkeley (Rockridge, the San Pablo corridor, 4th Street, Jack London Square, Emeryville) that have quirky shops and lots of cafes and restaurants, and are fun to stroll.
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Mar 22nd, 2017, 01:03 PM
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I wouldn't go north, either, and would do Santa Cruz or Monterey if you haven't been there.
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Mar 22nd, 2017, 01:21 PM
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If you mostly want gob smacking coastal scenery (better even than Point Reyes IMO) -- then Point Lobos will fill the bill.

But you wouldn't have to go that far if you wanted to stay closer to the East Bay (Big Basin or Henry Cowell and Santa Cruz/Capitola etc.)
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Mar 22nd, 2017, 01:47 PM
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Thanks for your suggestions.

We have already been to (and enjoyed tremendously) Carmel, Monterey, and point lobos, so we probably wouldn't go back to any of those places. We had been concentrating on areas closer to Oakland because that's where we want to end up on Friday night, but will definitely look into some of the other suggestions.

Also, to clarify, we will be spending close to 3 days at Yosemite and a day and 1/2 at sequoia before flying back out of San Jose.
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Mar 22nd, 2017, 02:08 PM
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Hello. I have lived in Oakland for 14 years, and before that lived in San Francisco for 8. Although Muir Woods is lovely, there is beautiful hiking right here in Oakland. We also have wonderful shopping and restaurants, as well as the Oakland Museum and there is a wonderful new museum in Berkeley. So, depending on what you have in mind, I can make more specific suggestions for these things and you won't have to travel far at all.

For example, a wonderful resource for hiking is the East Bay Regional Parks (http://www.ebparks.org), which oversees a collection of outdoor spaces with awesome hiking. In Oakland we have Redwood Regional Park, Joaquin Miller Park, Sibley, Huckleberry, and then in Berkeley Tilden Park. Without looking at a map, you would almost think that these were just one huge park because most of them abut one another and the trails continue for miles and miles. Depending on what type of hiking you like, I can suggest a particular park and/or trail.

I know you said you don't want to go into the city, but I feel compelled to mention that if you like modern art the new SFMOMA reopened within the last 6 months and is amazing. It is now the largest collection of modern art in the country. I've been 4 or 5 times already and haven't seen the entire collection.

Anyway, if you can specify what you are interested in, I would be happy to make more specific suggestions.
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Mar 22nd, 2017, 02:10 PM
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Have you visit the Gold Country??

Stu Dudley
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Mar 23rd, 2017, 08:12 AM
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Thanks for some terrific suggestions that I would never have found on my own.

We probably would leave the Oakland area state parks until the weekend as the rest of the family will probably want to do hikes in that area once we connect with them. We've not been to Gold Country at all, but at first glance that doesn't look as appealing to me (or my claustrophobic husband) as Big Basin and/or Henry Cowell. So leaning towards one or both of those parks pending further research (and possibly further input from you folks on the forum).
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Mar 23rd, 2017, 08:26 AM
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I personally would probably go to Big Basin or Henry Cowell . . . BUT I am curious what you meant by >>(or my claustrophobic husband)<
Gold Country is wide open spaces, small villages, pretty scenery, vineyards, Columbia State Park etc etc.
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Mar 23rd, 2017, 10:52 AM
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I agree with Daria's suggestion of Tilden Park for walking. One of the most amazing carousels up there too.
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Mar 23rd, 2017, 05:49 PM
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"East Bay residents have a volcano in their backyard at Sibley Volcanic Regional Preserve. Originally called Round Top Park, Sibley shares with Temescal and Tilden the distinction of being one of the East Bay Regional Park District's original parks."

And perhaps a play at California Shakespeare (outdoor) Theater in Orinda.
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Mar 24th, 2017, 03:52 AM
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Janisj, on a prelimary quick look I got the impression that Gold Country focused on old mine tours and things like that. I'll have to take another look at it. Your favorites there that I should look at?

Also, if we decide to do big basin or Henry cowell any suggestions about where to stay for a night? Will we have traffic issues driving up to Oakland from there late Friday afternoon or evening?

Will definitely try and check out Tilden park and Sibley when we're in Oakland over the weekend!
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Mar 24th, 2017, 02:35 PM
  #16
 
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There's about a day's worth of attractions in San Jose, including:

-Winchester Mystery House (eccentric and very good)
-San Jose Museum of Art (very good)
-Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum (not a big fan)
-Cathedral Basilica of St. Joseph (worth a pop-in)
-San Jose Historical Museum (very good)

A car is helpful since these attractions are spread out around the city.

Will second the Oakland Museum in that city.
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